Many people want to file for divorce without knowing much about it beforehand, and that is to be expected. So here is a list of some of the most common questions people have about getting divorced.
How does an Uncontested Divorce differ from a Contested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one where both of the parties agree to terms settling the issues in their case and have signed a settlement agreement. This includes all issues ranging from custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution (division of property, assets, debts).
On the other hand, a contested divorce is one where the parties cannot settle and usually end up having to go to trial to be divorced. A contested divorce becomes uncontested as soon as the parties reach settlement.
How Do You File For a Divorce?
This is a process that begins with filing a document called a “Complaint For Divorce” with the Family Court clerk located in your county. You’ll need to specify the grounds for divorce. The basis for a divorce most often used is “irreconcilable differences.” The Complaint for Divorce must be personally served on your spouse, unless they agree to sign an Acknowledgement of Service.
Can I Bring Someone With Me to Meetings with the Attorney?
You are allowed to bring a third party with you (whether it be a friend, family member, or a neighbor) to your meetings with your attorney, but it can break any attorney-client privilege that you have. This is because the discussions with your lawyer no longer remain confidential if a third party is there. Normally people bring someone to the initial consultation, before the attorney is retained, to ask questions or give moral support. There is no attorney-client privilege yet because the attorney has not been retained.
Should I go to mediation and should I bring a lawyer to mediation?
It is always recommended to be represented by your own attorney even when attending mediation because the mediator is a neutral third party and does not represent you or your spouse. Mediation may save money and time overall if an agreement can be reached between the two parties.